Now, Voyager

The untold want by life and land ne'er granted, now, Voyager, sail thou forth to seek and find. -- Walt Whitman

Saturday, January 06, 2007

I'm not here any more

Somehow in the process of converting from "old blogger" to "new blogger" with my NEW blog, Google has let me access this OLD blog -- the one I started and then forgot the username and password to. (Was that clear? Yeah, I know...I don't get it either.) Anyway, if you've found yourself here finding where I came from and you want to get back to the present -- here's the address of the new blog:
Bon voyage!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

….but I think, most of all, Jill Carroll.

I was in seventh grade when I joined the school newspaper. I started as the reporter for Mrs. Allen's homeroom. Mrs. Allen was also the faculty adviser for the school paper, and I was her special pet, so my “beat,” and responsibilities quickly broadened. This may have been not so much a function of my engaging personality and distinctive talent, but the fact that my teacher and I were in constant contact: homeroom, newspaper, English class and Spanish class. It didn’t stop there. She was also my Sunday School teacher. Together we were the only two Christian Scientists at Smiley Wilson Junior High in Lubbock, Texas. She understood me when I said – as I so often did over the next few years – that when I grew up, I wanted to be a foreign correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor.

It was a step up from my previous goal. From 1956 – 1960, third to sixth grade for me, I told anyone and everyone who asked – and many who didn’t -- that I wanted to be a social director on a cruise ship. The inspiration for this was Gale Storm’s role in a weekly television series called “Oh Susanna!” I did NOT love Lucy. She was a stay-at-home manipulator, who always had some “splaining to do” to Ricky. She also had red hair, which was supposed to make her special. My sister had red hair. She wasn’t so special.

But Susanna had a life! She went places, earned her own living, and got other people to do things – even if it was just playing shuffle board. People listened to her.

I don’t know what happened to my goals. They went away sometime during my sophomore year. The Beatles came along and every spare moment I had was concentrated on Paul McCartney. I know I wrote some poetry from time to time, hung out exclusively with a smaller and smaller group of friends, and went to great lengths to avoid most social contact. My room was my world, and I didn’t come out that often.

It was sometime during high school, maybe even in college, on one of those many nights spent alone, that I saw the 1943 film Now, Voyager, starring Bette Davis. It has stayed with me forever – frumpy Charlotte Vale transformed into the beautiful, engaging creature who could inspire Claude Rains to put two cigarettes in his mouth, light them both and hand one to her. And in the end, they don’t get married, but unite in a higher goal of bringing out the best in someone else – his daughter.

Somehow the message got through to me – personal transformation, being the best I could be, was NOT just about getting a guy and living happily ever after. It was for something more. But for me, what was that? I’m still moving through the question.

The title of the movie was taken from Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass –

The Untold Want
By Life and Land Ne'er Granted
Now, Voyager
Sail Thou Forth to Seek and Find.

Jill, I think of you everyday. My prayers for you go out constantly. You stayed on your course and sailed forth to do and be what I lost sight of for a while. So my prayers for you are prayers for me, as well. God, give me courage to keep sailing forth, to keep seeking and finding, no matter the reefs, waves or wrecks. We each DO make a difference when we leave the dock.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Thanks to Walt Whitman, Bette Davis, Gale Storm, and Mary Baker Eddy

They are all an inspiration for starting this blog. I'm setting sail and learning the rigging right now, so I shall 'splain myself later.